AutoPPI: An Ensemble of Deep Autoencoders for Protein-Protein Interaction Prediction

Entropy (Basel). 2021 May 21;23(6):643. doi: 10.3390/e23060643.


Proteins are essential molecules, that must correctly perform their roles for the good health of living organisms. The majority of proteins operate in complexes and the way they interact has pivotal influence on the proper functioning of such organisms. In this study we address the problem of protein-protein interaction and we propose and investigate a method based on the use of an ensemble of autoencoders. Our approach, entitled AutoPPI, adopts a strategy based on two autoencoders, one for each type of interactions (positive and negative) and we advance three types of neural network architectures for the autoencoders. Experiments were performed on several data sets comprising proteins from four different species. The results indicate good performances of our proposed model, with accuracy and AUC values of over 0.97 in all cases. The best performing model relies on a Siamese architecture in both the encoder and the decoder, which advantageously captures common features in protein pairs. Comparisons with other machine learning techniques applied for the same problem prove that AutoPPI outperforms most of its contenders, for the considered data sets.

Keywords: autoencoders; deep learning; protein–protein interaction.